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Red Cross urges blood donation as one last gift to give this holiday season

 

Last updated 12/7/2016 at Noon



It can’t be wrapped or placed under a tree, but the perfect gift can help save patient lives this holiday season. The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give the lifesaving gift of a blood donation in December, a time when donations decline but the needs of patients remain steady.

Barbara Coger will never forget the donors that gave the blood that her husband received during the holidays. “I have been donating blood for some time, but really started encouraging others to do so after my husband received a donation on Christmas Eve,” she said.

“He had not been doing well and would not survive much longer, but with that extra boost, he was able to share a big smile with me on Christmas morning, something I will always cherish.”

Donors of all blood types are needed this holiday season to help ensure a sufficient supply for hospital patients. To encourage donations, all those who come to donate Dec. 22, 2016, through Jan. 8, 2017, will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors are encouraged to make appointments and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass to save time when donating.

Upcoming blood donation opportunity: Bothell, 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 20, Avalon RockMeadow, 19905 Bothell-Everett Hwy

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

Volunteers needed

Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross is to become a volunteer transportation specialist and deliver lifesaving blood products to local area hospitals. Volunteer transportation specialists play a very important role in ensuring an ample blood supply for patients in need by transporting blood and blood products.

For more information and to apply for a volunteer transportation specialist position, contact Lynne Calmus at 509-943-7812 or visit our Volunteer Connection website.

 

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